Electrochemically Synthesized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanowires as Photosensitive Neuronal Interfaces

Poly(3-hexylthiophene) (P3HT), a hole-conducting polymer, generates a lot of interest especially because of its excellent optoelectronic properties (such as good electrical conductivity and high extinction coefficient) and good processability, which make this polymer an excellent choice for building organic optoelectronic devices (e.g., organic solar cells). *

P3HT films and nanoparticles have also been used to restore the photosensitivity of retinal neurons. *

For their article “Electrochemically Synthesized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanowires as Photosensitive Neuronal Interfaces” Szilveszter Gáspár, Tiziana Ravasenga, Raluca-Elena Munteanu, Sorin David, Fabio Benfenati, and Elisabetta Colombo investigated the template-assisted electrochemical synthesis of P3HT nanowires doped with tetrabutylammonium hexafluorophosphate (TBAHFP) and their biocompatibility with primary neurons. *

They were able to show that template-assisted electrochemical synthesis can relatively easily turn 3-hexylthiophene (3HT) into longer (e.g., 17 ± 3 µm) or shorter (e.g., 1.5 ± 0.4 µm) P3HT nanowires with an average diameter of 196 ± 55 nm (determined by the used template) and that the nanowires produce measurable photocurrents following illumination. *

The fact that template-assisted electrochemical synthesis combines polymerization, doping, and polymer nanostructuring into one, relatively simple step is the most important advantage of this method. The possibility of easily tuning the length of the produced nanowires represents another important advantage. *

The authors were also able to demonstrate that primary cortical neurons can be grown onto P3HT nanowires drop-casted on a glass substrate without relevant changes in their viability and electrophysiological properties, indicating that P3HT nanowires obtained by template-assisted electrochemical synthesis represent a promising neuronal interface for photostimulation. *

Szilveszter Gáspár  et al. proved the biocompability of the obtained P3HT nanowires upon incubation for different periods with primary neuronal cultures. They demonstrated that their presence does not affect the membrane properties of the neurons or the excitability of the neurons as evaluated by patch-clamp experiments. These results show the potential of the described synthesis methodology to fabricate injectable P3HT-based photosensitive nanowires with high biocompatibility, ultimately paving the way for their exploitation for neuronal photostimulation. *

Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) was used to characterize P3HT nanowires drop-casted onto glass coverslips. *

The Atomic Force Microscopy images were obtained in air and in intermittent contact-mode using line rates as slow as 0.2 Hz and NanoWorld Pointprobe® NCSTR silicon soft-tapping AFM probes (typical values: resonant frequency 160 kHz, force constant 7.2 N m). The ratio between the set-point amplitude and the free amplitude of the AFM cantilever was set to 0.5–0.6. The obtained AFM images were used to determine both the lengths and the diameters of the nanowires. *

Figure 3 from “Electrochemically Synthesized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanowires as Photosensitive Neuronal Interfaces” by Szilveszter Gáspár et al.: AFM images of “long” P3HT nanowires (A) and of “short” P3HT nanowires (B). NanoWorld Pointprobe NCSTR soft-tapping mode probes were used.
Figure 3 from “Electrochemically Synthesized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanowires as Photosensitive Neuronal Interfaces” by Szilveszter Gáspár et al.:
AFM images of “long” P3HT nanowires (A) and of “short” P3HT nanowires (B).

*Szilveszter Gáspár, Tiziana Ravasenga, Raluca-Elena Munteanu, Sorin David, Fabio Benfenati, and Elisabetta Colombo
Electrochemically Synthesized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanowires as Photosensitive Neuronal Interfaces
Materials 2021, 14(16), 4761, Special Issue Advanced Designs of Materials, Devices and Techniques for Biosensing
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/ma14164761 (please follow this external link to read the full article.)

Open Access The article “Electrochemically Synthesized Poly(3-hexylthiophene) Nanowires as Photosensitive Neuronal Interfaces” by Szilveszter Gáspár, Tiziana Ravasenga, Raluca-Elena Munteanu, Sorin David, Fabio Benfenati, and Elisabetta Colombo is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Amphiphilic Poly(dimethylsiloxane-ethylene-propylene oxide)-polyisocyanurate Cross-Linked Block Copolymers in a Membrane Gas Separation

Block copolymers, including multiblock copolymers of an amphiphilic nature, because of their ability to form various supramolecular structures are attracting a lot of research interest these days. The direct influence on the supramolecular organization of block copolymers is a way of controlling both the mechanical and physicochemical properties of polymer materials obtained on this basis. *

In the article “Amphiphilic Poly(dimethylsiloxane-ethylene-propylene oxide)-polyisocyanurate Cross-Linked Block Copolymers in a Membrane Gas Separation” Ilsiya M. Davletbaeva, Ilgiz M. Dzhabbarov, Askhat M. Gumerov, Ilnaz I. Zaripov, Ruslan S. Davletbaev, Artem A. Atlaskin, Tatyana S. Sazanova and Ilya V. Vorotyntsev describe how they investigated Multiblock copolymers obtained based on PPEG, D4 (octamethylcyclotetrasiloxane ) and TDI ( 2,4-toluene diisocyanate ).*

The authors studied the realized polymers as membrane materials for the separation of gas mixtures containing CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2 and went on to show that polymers with a cellular supramolecular structure exhibit lower permeability for CO2 in comparison with polymeric film materials whose supramolecular structure is constructed on the basis of the “core-shell” principle. *

It was shown in the above mentioned article that polymers are promising as silica-based membrane materials for the separation of gas mixtures containing CO2/CH4 and CO2/N2. *

As the polymer material investigated for this article is rather soft NanoWorld Pointprobe® FMR AFM probes with a typical force constant of around 2.8 N/m were used for the analysis by atomic force microscopy of the membrane surface.*

Figure 15 from Ilsiya M. Davletbaeva et al “Amphiphilic Poly(dimethylsiloxane-ethylene-propylene oxide)-polyisocyanurate Cross-Linked Block Copolymers in a Membrane Gas Separation”:
AFM Images. (a): [PPEG]:[TDI] = 1:10; (b): [PPEG]:[D4]:[TDI] = 1:15:10; (c): [PPEG]:[D4]:[TDI] = 1:15:10 [ASiP] = 0.2 wt.%, (d): [PPEG]:[D4]:[TDI] = 1:15:10 [ASiP] = 0.4 wt.%.
NanoWorld Pointprobe® FMR AFM probes were used.
Figure 15 from Ilsiya M. Davletbaeva et al “Amphiphilic Poly(dimethylsiloxane-ethylene-propylene oxide)-polyisocyanurate Cross-Linked Block Copolymers in a Membrane Gas Separation”:
AFM Images. (a): [PPEG]:[TDI] = 1:10; (b): [PPEG]:[D4]:[TDI] = 1:15:10; (c): [PPEG]:[D4]:[TDI] = 1:15:10 [ASiP] = 0.2 wt.%, (d): [PPEG]:[D4]:[TDI] = 1:15:10 [ASiP] = 0.4 wt.%.

*Ilsiya M. Davletbaeva, Ilgiz M. Dzhabbarov, Askhat M. Gumerov, Ilnaz I. Zaripov, Ruslan S. Davletbaev, Artem A. Atlaskin, Tatyana S. Sazanova, and Ilya V. Vorotyntsev
Amphiphilic Poly(dimethylsiloxane-ethylene-propylene oxide)-polyisocyanurate Cross-Linked Block Copolymers in a Membrane Gas Separation
Membranes 2021, 11(2), 94
DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/membranes11020094

Please follow this external link to read the full article: https://www.mdpi.com/2077-0375/11/2/94/htm#

Open Access : The article “Amphiphilic Poly(dimethylsiloxane-ethylene-propylene oxide)-polyisocyanurate Cross-Linked Block Copolymers in a Membrane Gas Separation” by Ilsiya M. Davletbaeva, Ilgiz M. Dzhabbarov, Askhat M. Gumerov, Ilnaz I. Zaripov, Ruslan S. Davletbaev, Artem A. Atlaskin, Tatyana S. Sazanova, and Ilya V. Vorotyntsev is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies

In mother nature, the concept of self-assembly is vital for life, as it generates much of the functionality of living cells. It also bears great synthetic potential for the formation of versatile, switchable, and functional nanostructures.*

Noncovalent interactions can be triggered by external influences, such as the change of pH, light irradiation, thermal activation, introduction of a magnetic field, moisture, or redox response. Of high interest are light-responsive systems, for example in the fields of sensors or therapy, and, thus, it is desirable to explore novel concepts toward light-triggerable self-assembly.*

In the article “Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies” Alexander Zika, Sarah Bernhardt and Franziska Gröhn present light-responsive nano-assemblies with light-switchable size based on photoacids.*

Anionic disulfonated napthol derivates and cationic dendrimer macroions are used as building blocks for electrostatic self-assembly. Nanoparticles are already formed under the exclusion of light as a result of electrostatic interactions. Upon photoexcitation, an excited-state dissociation of the photoacidic hydroxyl group takes place, which leads to a more highly charged linker molecule and, subsequently, to a change in size and structure of the nano-assemblies. The effects of the charge ratio and the concentration on the stability have been examined with absorption spectroscopy and -potential measurements.*

The influence of the chemical structure of three isomeric photoacids on the size and shape of the nanoscale aggregates has been studied by dynamic light scattering and atomic force microscopy, revealing a direct correlation of the strength of the photoacid with the changes of the assemblies upon irradiation.*

NanoWorld Ultra-Short AFM Cantilevers of the USC-F0.3-k0.3 type ( typical force constant 0.3 N/m ) were operated in tapping mode for the Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) images presented in the article.*

Figure 1 a from “Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies” by Alexander Zika  et al:
Assembly formation and photoresponse of the dendrimer–photoacid system at a charge ratio of r = 0.25: (a) AFM height images before (right) and after (left) irradiation.  Figure 1 a from “Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies” by Alexander Zika  et al:
Assembly formation and photoresponse of the dendrimer–photoacid system at a charge ratio of r = 0.25: (a) AFM height images before (right) and after (left) irradiation.
Figure 1 a from “Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies” by Alexander Zika  et al:
Assembly formation and photoresponse of the dendrimer–photoacid system at a charge ratio of r = 0.25: (a) AFM height images before (right) and after (left) irradiation. Please refer to the full article for the full figure https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/12/8/1746

*Alexander Zika, Sarah Bernhardt and Franziska Gröhn
Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies
Polymers 2020, 12, 1746
DOI: 10.3390/polym12081746

Please follow this external link to read the full article: https://www.mdpi.com/2073-4360/12/8/1746

Open Access : The article “Photoresponsive Photoacid-Macroion Nano-Assemblies” by Alexander Zika, Sarah Bernhardt and Franziska Gröhn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.